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World Briefing / Japan

Actress pleads guilty to drug use

October 27, 2009|Times Wire Reports

More than 6,000 people crowded outside a Tokyo courthouse as Japanese actress Noriko Sakai pleaded guilty to drug use and prosecutors sought a prison sentence in a trial that has caused a media frenzy.

Sakai, 38, was among the first Japanese actresses to gain popularity in Asia, and her arrest in August threatened to shatter her wholesome image.

Prosecutors accused Sakai of inhaling amphetamines in July on the southern island of Amami Oshima, where she went with her husband and their son to view a lunar eclipse. Investigators also found a tiny amount of the drug in her Tokyo condominium.

Sakai was arrested after turning herself in, following a weeklong disappearance.

She is charged with drug use in violation of an anti-stimulant law.

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